Fire Starters

Boldness, clarity and wisdom for fundraising professionals

A Heartwarming and Surprising Thank You!

As long-time readers of this blog know, I went through a cancer adventure nearly six years ago. I don’t think about it too much these days, because my bloodwork says I’m free of both breast cancer and melanoma. Yay!

On a recent visit to AFP Northeast Indiana in Ft. Wayne I had a chance to think about and talk about how fortunate I am in my cancer journey.

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday – This Fits ALL Categories!

I’ve been on the road for most of October and November meeting thousands, literally, thousands of dedicated fundraisers like you. While I was traveling I realized I wanted to thank everyone I met and talked with. All of you who shared your stories, received some coaching and also those who asked questions about storytelling. You already KNOW that sharing stories will increase donor retention, right? I want to help YOU get a jump on your 2017 Fundraising. So, for a this week of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, my Complete Storytelling System is half price!  I’ve taken all the tools I teach at my live training sessions AND MORE and put them in one place. It is YOUR very own Ignited Fundraising Home Study storytelling program. Check out my Thanksgiving week message for...

Four Phrases You Can Use to Make Asking for Contributions More Comfortable

I talk a lot about ways to raise money and not have to ask for the gift. . . but please don’t get me wrong. . . there ARE times it’s important to make the “ask.” Asking for the gift is part or all of your work if you have the position of: Executive Director Development Director Major Gifts, Planned Giving, or Annual Gifts Officer VP of Advancement, External Relations, Planned Giving Board Chair Fundraising Committee Chair OR any other position that indicates you are in a leadership role at your nonprofit organization and part of your job is to raise money If you are like many of the people I meet, you may be “new” to asking for gifts. You are excellent at other aspects of your job, but asking for gifts gives you sweaty palms and heart palpitations. If that’s the case, here are a few of my favorite lead-in phrases when asking others for a gift. Someone Who Has Given $250 to $900 for at least one year: “Thank you for your gift of $xxx last year. Today I’m here to invite you to join our giving society” NOTE: This is usually a gift of $1000 to $100,000 or more for five years. Someone You Know Well and Are Comfortable Practicing On: “I’m new to this whole asking people to make a financial contribution thing so I chose you to have my first conversation with. . . thanks for seeing me.” Then pause and smile. Wait to see what they ask or say before diving in and talking their ear off. DO know ahead of time...

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